We should never allow ourselves to become stagnant in life doing the same
things over and over and not really moving forward. The Lord who created
us, has called us to achieve greatness in life and do more than merely
exist. We are to believe in ourselves as God believes in us and reach
forth to the heights of victory and enjoy life to the full. The Bible
declares in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward
you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an
expected end.” Be encouraged to do the things that you've been meaning to
do and even if only on a weekly basis do something different that will
bring you joy and refreshment to reinvigorate your life. (Psalm 116:1-9)
I hope you are blessed and encouraged by today's message to believe in
yourself as God believes in you and reach for your heart's desires, where
life will be renewed in your eyes and shown that it is worth living.
“Do you swim?”
The neurologist's question caught me off guard. Unexplained back pain plus
a strange tingling sensation in my right foot, brought me to our family
doctor, then alarmingly, to this specialist.
“Well, no. I mean, I can swim, but it has been years.”
“It really is the best thing for your back.”
Stalling, I opted for on-land physical therapy sessions, which of course
did little to alleviate the numbness in my toes. Who knew that a herniated
back disc could affect the feet?
“You really should try swimming,” the therapist reiterates.
“It can do wonders for injuries like yours.”
Flip-flops squeaking against the wet tile floor, towel in one arm, goggles
perched upon my head, I scan the pool deck for a free lap lane.
Looking down at my faded Lands' End suit, the one with the little white
elastic pieces sticking out of the inseam, I feel everyone's eyes upon me.
A thirty-something mom, my exercise regime involves breathless morning
sprints to the bus stop. But competition-style lap swimming? I think not.
Sure, I know how to swim, but splashing around with my kids on a sultry
summer afternoon is just not the same as this - a 9 am plunge into freezing
water on a sub-zero February morning.
So here I stand poolside, a deer in the headlights, wanting to flee, yet
paralyzed by the imagined stares of the other “real” swimmers.
Again I am a shy grade schooler, always picked last for the kickball team.
Her report card is excellent as always, but there's just one unsatisfactory
mark -- physical education. Again, I am an awkward teenager, hitting the
volleyball into, rather than over, the net. Again, I am an aspiring
teenaged figure skater, full of grace, but lacking the technique needed
for any real success.
Just Do It! The clichéd Nike slogan pops into my foggy brain, pushed
there perhaps by some gentle prodding from a fellow swimmer, stopping mid-
workout to smile my way.
“You are welcome to share this lane with me. The pool is awfully crowded
this time of day.”
Just like that, I find myself muttering thanks and sliding into the
surprisingly warm water. I am off, pushing forward into a modified
breaststroke (adapted by me, so I don't actually have to put my eyes under
Red, blue, yellow and green triangles hang from a banner high overhead,
signaling my arrival at the three-fourths lane mark. My fingertips hit
cold concrete -- a tangible reward for completing an entire lap.
Out of breath, yet exhilarated, I continue this back-and-forth path. I
shock myself by completing ten laps, on this, my first day as a swimmer.
Tired, yet invigorated, I am bursting with accomplishment.
“I am going to do twenty laps on Thursday!” I boast to my husband over
lunch later that day. “I think I will try a few strokes of front crawl, too.”
What started as therapy for my back quickly turned into a workout that I
actually enjoyed. Tuesday and Thursday mornings become my time. With my
youngest daughter in preschool, I find myself looking forward to peaceful
Gradually, I begin to complete greater distances. Ten laps become twenty,
and remarkably, even thirty. Splashing forward, I am surprised to feel so
free. My spirit soars with each stroke. Who cares if my form isn't the
model of Olympian perfection? In the water I am powerful and strong.
Adjusting my goggles, I dive beneath the surface. Insecurities are washed
away as I set and reach new goals, like actually swimming under water!
Refreshed after each swim, I spend my afternoons enthusiastically rolling
out sticky pink play dough and playing countless games of Candyland with
my girls. Bubble wand in one hand, sidewalk chalk in the other, I laugh
more and worry less. I lost a few unwanted pounds and feel healthier and
happier both inside and out.
Long after my back pain subsided, swimming continues to be the balm that
heals both my body and soul. In the water, I am a confident athlete, a
woman of strength.
And someday, someday very soon, I will master that impossible flip turn.
By Stefanie Wass
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Psalm 16:8-11 “I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my
right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory
rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my
soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at
Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
James 4:13-14 “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into
such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It
is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Psalm 103:1-5 “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless
His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who
redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness
and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy
youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
Psalm 118:5-9 “I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me,
and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear:
what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me:
therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to
trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in
the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: THE POWER OF HABIT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem107.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: MY TESTIMONY OF GRACE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony86.htm
In Christ’s Service,
Gods Work Ministry